The Basics: A Black Purse for Day and Night

Monday, June 20, 2011

When it comes to building a basic, functional wardrobe, a black purse that can just as easily go to the office as it can to cocktails is an essential. If you don't have a black handbag that you feel amazing carrying from day to night, put it on your must have list immediately -- right up there with black pumps and a pencil skirt. Once you have a great purse in rotation, you'll be wondering how you lived without it.

So, what qualities are important in a multi-functional black purse? Of course, quality construction and materials are high on the list. As is a silhouette that is large enough to tote files, technology and other daytime necessities, but with enough structure that it doesn't look like a gym back when paired with your LBD. The overall shape should be classic, and hardware and other details should be minimal so as to bridge the entirety of the day. Overwhelmed? Don't be. We've got your back. Check out these favorite black purse picks...

My personal favorite black purse, which is in constant rotation in my own closet, is the Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag, or M.A.B. as it's known in fashionista circles. The combination of the black leather with light gold hardware creates a luxe look, and the inside is ultra roomy.

Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag - M.A.B.

→ Buy the Rebecca Minkoff Morning After Bag, $525.00, at

Ready to splurge on an investment-worthy black purse? The new Prada Glace Calf Satchel is just plain gorgeous.

Prada Glace Calf Satchel

→ Buy the Prada Glace Calf Satchel, $1,495.00, at

Another personal favorite is the Foley + Corinna City Tote. I love that, fully extended, it will fit file folders with ease. But, after hours, it can be folded over and worn as a shoulder bag or oversized clutch.

Foley + Corinna City Tote

→ Buy the Foley + Corinna City Tote, $485.00, at; shipping and returns are free.

A new classic black purse to emerge in the past couple years is the Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel. The simple barrel shape is great for toting around essentials, while the studded bottom adds some flair.

Alexander Wang Rocco Mini Duffel

→ Buy the Alexander Wang Rocco Duffel, $875.00, at; shipping and returns are free.

Prefer a vegan black purse option? The Matt & Nat Stardust Rain is a great bag at a great price.

Matt & Nat - Stardust Rain (Black) - Bags and Luggage

→ Buy the Matt & Nat Stardust Rain Bag, $115.50 (was $210), at; shipping and returns are free.